How Green Is Too Green?

Is unplugging the fridge and fueling up on vegetable oil eco-friendly or just nuts?
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2008 3:19 PM CDT
Dave Chameides poses with the personalized plate on the diesel car he modified to run on vegetable oil, with reusable shopping bags in the trunk, at his home in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – How far would you go to reduce your ecological footprint? Would you run your car on waste vegetable oil? Use your lawn as a bathroom to save water? Huddle for body heat? Unplug the fridge? Some 7% of the population is “dark green,” the New York Times reports, though the jury’s still out on whether the so-called "carborexics" are eco-heroes or borderline obsessive-compulsive.

One man is keeping all the trash he generates in a year and blogging about the pileup, while another is working on a movie and book on spending a year without harming the planet. “What these people are doing is fantastic, needed, and catalytic,” an environmental author says. A psychiatrist, however, worries that it’s a sign of disorder—if “you’re criticizing friends because they’re not living up to your standards of green, that’s a problem.”
(Read more environment stories.)